Even if you struggle to save strokes, you shouldn’t have a problem saving money — not with all the great golf deals these days. Greens fees. Resort packages. Gear. Apps. You name it. Because we’d like to see you get the most bang for your buck, we’ve assembled, in descending order of cost, a list of 25 of the game’s most irresistible bargains. You can see them below at no extra charge.
Myrtle Beach is bursting with affordable golf offers. Among the most appealing is the Mystical Golf Best Golf Buddy Package, a $93 per-person-per-day getaway that includes three rounds on three tasty tracks (Witch, Man-O-War and Wizard), and a complimentary fourth round if you’re into it, which you are. Lodging is included. So are steakhouse dinners, and breakfast at iHOP, available 24 hours a day.
Belly up to the first tee. Reynolds Lake Oconee, in Greensboro, Ga., is buying the first round. The offer is part of a stay-and-play package at the five-star resort, available until Dec. 31. It comes with lodging in a private two- to four-bedroom cottage and a free round of drinks (one per person) after each round of golf. From $249 per night, per person (minimum two people per cottage).
Every year, GolfTec, a cutting-edge outfit that specializes in custom-club-fitting and soup-to-nuts instruction, conducts roughly 1 million lessons around the world. From now through the end of the year, it’s offering a three-in-one lesson package for under $200 that includes a 60-minute swing evaluation, a private with a certified coach and a practice session with the company’s interactive video.
The King is gone, but we commoners are still welcome in his castle. Through Jan. 14, Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge is offering a Bucket List Golf Package, which bundles up the following for $168 per person: accommodations in a lodge guest room, full breakfast and a round of golf on the home course of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. At check-in, guests also receive a dozen balls emblazoned with the Bay Hill logo, and a Palmer-trademarked umbrella logo pin.
In northern Michigan, the soil is sandy and, come summer, it doesn’t get dark until 10 p.m. Boyne Golf, an operation composed of three properties — Boyne Highlands Resort, Boyne Mountain Resort and Bay Harbor Golf Club — has 10 courses altogether, and an all-you-can-play summer deal that starts at $162 per person. Play 36, 54, 72. And on. The more you play, the better the deal.
$100 (or less!)
Next trip to Scotland, take a break from trophy hunting and play one of the many less expensive, small-town gems, like, say, Dunbar, Brora, Montrose or Cruden Bay, where greens fees can be had for $100 (or way less). Just because they’re not on the Open rota doesn’t mean they don’t belong on your bucket list.
Getting the beginner in your life into golf means getting them golf ready, which is also a slogan at the PGA of America. Through its network of teaching pros around the country, the organization offers a Get Golf Ready series of five group lessons starting at $99.
Some folks have been talking lately about moving to Canada. Here’s a really good reason to go. During shoulder season in the spring and fall greens fees at Cabot Links and Cabot Cliffs, a pair of marquee courses in Nova Scotia, plunge from $225 to $90.
Attend an LPGA Tour event. The players are more accessible; you’ll pay just a fraction of what most men’s events charge; and the swings are even prettier to watch. Allow us to recommend the thrill-a-minute Solheim Cup, which next summer visits Des Moines (Iowa) G&CC. Grounds passes for the tournament days start at just $60.
For golfers of all levels and psychic make-up (from emotionally fragile to masochistic), it’s hard to beat the bargains at Bethpage State Park, 45 minutes east of New York City, which has five 18-hole tracks of varied difficulty, starting with the user-friendly Yellow and continuing through the Green, Blue, Red and, finally, the notoriously punishing Black, two-time host site of the U.S. Open. All are open to the public. Greens fees range from $38 to $150, with discounts for residents.
A Pebble Beach experience without the Pebble price? Yup, the Peter Hay Course, a par-3, nine-hole track that sits across the road from Pebble Peach Golf Links, has sweet views and subtle greens but costs just a tad less than the $525 that the big course commands. It’s $30 for adults; $10 for juniors age 13-17; children 12 and under play free.
Located in Austin, Texas, Lions Municipal Golf Course, aka Muny, is an unpretentious treat that has been around since 1934, long enough to welcome the likes of Ben Hogan, Bryon Nelson, Tom Kite and Ben Crenshaw. The University of Texas, which owns the land where Muny sits, has bandied about plans to put the site to other uses. But for now, at least, it’s business as usual at the Golden Age classic, which means $29 on weekends — one of the sweetest deals in the Lone Star State.
Alister Mackenzie was the Michelangelo of golf course architects. But many of his works are kept under tight wrap. Count Northwood Golf Club, an hour north of San Francisco, among the rarities. A public-access Mackenzie, it sits in an exceptional site, ringed by redwood forest. A twilight 18 costs $27. It’s an unforgettable — and affordable –experience as the waning sun filters through the giant trees.
On the downside, tuition at Yale University is $45,800 a year. On the upside, the C.B. MacDonald/Seth Raynor designed Course at Yale ranks 54th on GOLF’s Top 100 Courses in the U.S. Assuming you get in and can afford the enrollment, you can play the track for $25.
One golfer’s loss is another’s gain. That’s the business model behind lostgolfballs.com, which cleans up and sells second-hand golf balls (many of which have only been struck once or twice) at serious discounts. A dozen premium balls can go for as low as $10.
An invaluable education comes in the form of Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book: Lessons and Teachings from a Lifetime in Golf. It’s the best-selling golf book of all time for a reason, and you can get it in paperback for about what you’d pay for a hot dog and a soft drink at the turn.
When we say $5.99 for a 30 pack, we’re not talking cigarettes or Wrigley’s Spearmint gum. We’re talking Champ Zarma Flytees. Independent tests shown that their low-friction design helps your drives fly farther. Built of durable plastic, they also last up to seven times longer than traditional wooden tees.
That tradition unlike any other (that would the Masters) has concession deals unlike anywhere else. Yes, you read correctly: that’s $1.50 for a pimento cheese sandwich, and a whopping $2.50 for ham and cheese on rye, all of which can be washed down with a $4 beer. The prices are straight out of the persimmon age.
We know your finances are personal, but we figured you should know that Dick’s Sporting Goods and Golf Galaxy offer free personalization of Titleist ProV1s. Stamp your name or a message. Like, If Lost, Please Return To…
A lot of us have virtually no time to play golf. But there’s always time to play golf virtually for free. Not just any courses. We’re talking tracks like Pinehurst No. 2, Oakmont and Pebble Beach. They’re all in the archives of World Golf Tour, an online golf game played on hyper-realistic 3D digital versions of some of the world’s finest courses, all their curves and contours faithfully reproduced to within a fraction of an inch.
Customizing your equipment doesn’t have to cost. Bridgestone Golf offers free online ball fitting. Enter a few specs, and get an instant recommendation of what ball you should be playing. It makes a bigger difference than you might think.
No need to get greedy, but when you play a high-end course, stock up on a handful of tees and ball markers, which most upscale facilities offer free.
Personalized video instruction from GOLF’s Top 100 Teachers is now at your fingerprints with the Fix Finder app, which costs exactly nothing to download onto your phone. Disclaimer: This is our app. Disclaimer #2: We think it’s pretty darn great.
FIX FINDER: Transform Your Game With Our Free Swing App!
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When you visit Bandon Dunes, you’re there to play golf. And more golf. And more… The resort does its best to accommodate your appetite. A replay round is half-price on any of the property’s four Top 100-rated 18 hole courses And a third round? It’s free.
All right, so this deal isn’t exactly “free” but for $1,100 (per person/per night) the Fairmont Grand Del Mar, near San Diego, is offering a package that includes accommodations, a round of golf at the Tom Fazio-designed Grand Golf Club; and dinner at Addison, the resort’s refined restaurant. The kicker: you also get a free custom-fit driver! (Any brand you like, excluding PXG.)